Macro-dynamic Environments of the Meso Realm

  • Jonathan H. Turner


This chapter visualizes the macrorealm of social reality as a sociocultural environment of corporate and categoric units of the mesolevel realm. This environment imposes constraints on the operation of groups, organizations, communities, and categoric units. These constraints can be cultural, revolving around technologies, traditions, texts, values, ideologies, generalized symbolic media, and norms, or structural, revolving around the patterns of social relations evident in institutional domains, stratification systems, societies, and even intersocietal systems. Generalized symbolic media are given special emphasis because these are the media that are used in discourse and ideological formation within institutional domains (e.g., economy, kinship, religion, and education), the valued resources that are unequally distributed, and the resources exchanged among individual and collective actors within and between institutional domains. At a more structural level, modes of integration among social units are emphasized, and depending upon the configuration of these modes used, the environment of corporate and categoric units will vary. Modes of integration include segmentation, structural differentiation, structural interdependencies (e.g., exchange, overlaps, mobility, and embedding), structural domination, and structural segregation. Emphasis is placed upon how environments at the macrolevel of social reality evolve under selection pressures upon actors to solve problems facing a population.


Cultural Environment Status Belief Structural Integration Stratification System Institutional Norm 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan H. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California at RiversideRiversideUSA

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